Hampshire Fall To Defeat Against Essex

Hampshire fell to an innings and 97-run defeat at Chelmsford

Day One

Hampshire's bowlers fought hard despite an impressive effort from Essex's top order on day one of the Specsavers County Championship clash at Chelmsford.

On a rain affected opening day, Fidel Edwards (1-35) & Kyle Abbott (1-43) claimed the only wickets of the Essex innings as Alastair Cook (114*) and Tom Westley (111) each recorded centuries.

The duo shared an Essex record 243-run partnership but a late scalp from Abbott saw the home-side reach 243-2 at the close on day one.

After rain delayed the start of play by 45 minutes in the morning session, Edwards made up for lost time by striking with just the fifth ball of the innings to remove Nick Browne (0) without a run on the scoreboard.

Just three overs were possible in the morning session as more rain arrived, and with an early lunch taken, play finally resumed at 1:30pm.

Hampshire will have been hoping to make further in-roads after the interal, however an impressive partnership between Cook and Westley saw Essex move beyond 100 without further loss.

The duo continued to accumulate despite good spells from the bowlers and the hosts safely reached 141-1 at tea.

Cook and Westley built further following the break and both batsman reached their centuries half-way through the evening session - the landmarks also took their side past 200 with 16 overs to go.

Abbott bowled beautifully throughout the day and was finally rewarded with a deserved wicket when he bowled Westley in the penultimate over of the day. The seamer struck late in the session before stumps to pick up his 280th first-class wicket and give Hampshire hope of a recovery heading into tomorrow's day two.

Day Two

Kyle Abbott claimed his third five-wicket haul of the Specsavers County Championship campaign but Hampshire faltered on day two of their four-day contest against Essex at Chelmsford.

Abbott (5-58 & 27*) bowled beautifully throughout the morning and afternoon sessions, the seamer running through the Essex middle-order as Essex were dismissed for 360 in their first-innings.

Hampshire were then left stunned in reply - the visitors reaching 18 without loss before losing five wickets without addition to the total to drastically change to landscape of the game - Abbott and Lewis McManus (30*) then leading the fightback as Hampshire reached 92-7 at the close.

After Essex began the day on 243-2, Abbott was quick to make a breakthrough and he used the new-ball to great effect in the morning to remove Dan Lawrence (5) LBW.

The paceman then dismissed England's Alastair Cook (124) to put Hampshire firmly on the front foot.

Gareth Berg continued Abbott's hard work, Adam Wheater (7) pinned LBW to leave Essex 272-5, having lost three wickets for the addition of just 19 runs.

Ryan ten Doeschate (36) and Bopara steadied things for the home side with a sixth-wicket partnership of 51 that took Essex to a third batting point, but the stand was broken when Abbott returned to the attack straight after lunch.

Ravi Bopara (23) shouldered arms and lost his off-stump, whilst ten Doeschate followed soon after when he was beaten by a fast, swinging delivery that uprooted his off-stump - that scalp giving Abbott his 25th wicket of the campaign and his fifth of the innings.

Berg grabbed his second wicket when Simon Harmer (3) was trapped on the front foot, and after two lengthy rain breaks either side of tea, the remaining two Essex wickets fell inside three overs.

Neil Wagner (13) went for a big-hit against Crane and was caught on the mid-wicket boundary before Matthew Quinn’s (15) innings was ended when Dawson had him plumb LBW. 

In reply, Hampshire were troubled by Essex’s opening pair, the ball swinging on a drying wicket as they stumbled to 18-5.

Bopara then claimed two wickets in his first over to see the total to 34-7, before McManus and Abbott came together to record an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 58.

Day Three

Hampshire suffered a heavy defeat on day three of their Specsavers County Championship match against Essex at Chelmsford.

After beginning the day on 92-7, Hampshire lost their final three wickets early in the morning session before Essex enforced the follow-on.

With the deficit still standing at 245, Essex again made early in-roads and with wickets falling at regular intervals throughout the second-innings, the hosts went on to claim a convincing victory, the margin an innings and 97 runs.

Hampshire had started the day 268 runs short of making Essex bat again, and Lewis McManus (39) and Kyle Abbott (36) would have hoped to keep the home-side at bay early on.

However, when both men departed in quick succession and Fidel Edwards (0) followed soon after, Hampshire were all out for 115 - Jamie Porter (5-24) doing the damage.

Following on, the visitors' second innings got off to a difficult start, with the top three in the order dismissed prior to lunch with Hampshire 40-3.

Simon Harmer’s (3-23) second ball after lunch accounted for Rilee Rossouw who was unfortunate to be adjudged LBW, and Jamie Porter was quick to make his presence felt with the ball again when a nipping delivery saw Sean Ervine bowled.

George Bailey (32) hit four boundaries in his battling innings before he then edged behind, whilst McManus (37) showed resilince yet again second time around, but his knock concluded when he hooked a short ball to long leg leaving the total on 111-7, 134 runs behind.

The final three wickets then fell for the addition of 37 runs as Essex wrapped up a commanding win.